Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Ark II: "Don Quixote" (December 11, 1976)
Only here, the crew of the titular vehicle encounters literary and mythic personalities who are not merry men, but rather based on Cervantes’ The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (1605).
Specifically, Jonah, Ruth, Samuel and Adam cross paths with two post-apocalyptic personalities who knowingly have cast themselves as the chivalrous Quixote and his loyal squire, Sancho.
Finally, Quixote is recruited to the Ark II’s noble cause when the crew contextualizes the un-exploded bomb as a “serpent” the knight must defeat in combat. Quixote actually proves helpful too, during the climax, because his metal knight’s armor can help to limit the range and power of an explosion, if one should occur.
The final message of “Don Quixote is something akin to “use your imagination, but also see things through the eyes of others.” That’s appropriately didactic for children. Yet it’s probably even more commendable that Ark II would name-check Don Quixote in the first place, no doubt causing a spate of little ones to ask their parents about the character and his story, or perhaps even visit a nearby library to find out even more about him.